1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): “trump as danger to National Security” – Google News: Trump’s erratic policy moves put national security at risk, experts warn – The Washington Post

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Trump’s erratic policy moves put national security at risk, experts warn  The Washington Post

President’s brinkmanship approach on ICE raids, Mexican tariffs and Iran is also politically risky, they say.

“trump as danger to National Security” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites)


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RealClearInvestigations – Homepage: Teach for America Became Part of Charter School Movement

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Annie Waldman, ProP
Documents obtained by ProPublica show that the Walton foundation, a staunch supporter of school choice and Teach for America’s largest private funder, was paying $4,000 for every teacher placed in a traditional public school and $6,000 for every one placed in a charter school.

RealClearInvestigations – Homepage


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RealClearInvestigations – Homepage: Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors

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Hamilton Nolan, Splinter
Two half-time adjunct jobs do not make a full-time income. Far from it, Ximena Barrientos says. I’m lucky that I have my own apartment. I have no idea how people make it work if they have to pay rent.

RealClearInvestigations – Homepage


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“wilbur ross” – Google News: Under Trump, currencies has become next global battleground – Daily Sabah

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Under Trump, currencies has become next global battleground  Daily Sabah

The U.S. administration under Trump has taken a new step to investigate currency manipulation more closely to protect American manufacturers from …

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“Trump Investigations” – Google News: Naming Sessions AG biggest mistake: Trump – The Canberra Times

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Naming Sessions AG biggest mistake: Trump  The Canberra Times

US President Donald Trump says if he could have one “do-over”, it would be “personnel” decisions, including naming former senator Jeff Sessions as his first US …

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NPR News Now: NPR News: 06-23-2019 5PM ET

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“deutsche bank and trump” – Google News: As legal glare turns to Trump, his faith in Supreme Court may be tested – Reuters

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As legal glare turns to Trump, his faith in Supreme Court may be tested  Reuters

President Donald Trump’s fondness for the U.S. Supreme Court could be tested by a series of legal disputes targeting him personally – from his taxes and …

“deutsche bank and trump” – Google News


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Trump Shrugs Off Killing of Khashoggi by Saudi Agents, Saying Saudi Arabia Is an Important Trading Partner – The New York Times

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mikenov on Twitter: The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions: Trump’s Pathology Is Also His Brand – Sunday June … trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/trumps…

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The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions: Trump’s Pathology Is Also His Brand – Sunday June … trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/trumps…


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Trump’s Pathology Is Also His Brand – Sunday June 23rd, 2019 at 3:16 PM | The Psychoanalytic Activist – By Stephen J. Ducat

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Trump’s Pathology Is Also His Brand

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By Stephen J. Ducat
The Problem of Diagnosis
Trump 1Debates rage in the increasingly politicized world of mental health clinicians about how to name and understand Trump’s evident psychopathology. Is he a narcissistic psychopath, a psychopathic narcissist, or simply a ruthless con man who managed to grift his way into business and then into the White House?
There are those cautious souls that still abide by the “Goldwater Rule” a proscription against clinicians diagnosing politicians and others in public life who haven’t been interviewed directly. This was an attempt by the American Psychiatric Association to prevent the kind of reductive and politically motivated pathologizing that was directed against Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign. As it turns out, the rule was an overreaching corrective for an overreaching use of diagnosis. We have a wealth of data on what those in public life do and say in the world, something we don’t have access to with our patients. Although patients behave in certain ways in the context of treatment, we can only speculate how that translates to other relational contexts.
Even though we cannot know Trump through a personal analytic transference, we have seen and heard him engaging in a multiplicity of transference-like enactments, and we have witnessed the many countertransference-like responses he has invoked in others (such as aggressive retaliation and submission, often in the same person). He has shown a particular talent for getting those under him to abandon any moral constraint when those morals interfere with serving his interests. In October of 2017, we witnessed the supposed “adult in the room,” presidential Chief of Staff General John Kelly devolve into a more persuasive and articulate but no less mendacious Trumpian mini-me. A Florida Congresswoman, Rep. Frederica Wilson, had overheard on speakerphone Trump’s callous and thoughtless attempt to console the newly widowed wife of a slain soldier, and dared to criticize the President for his stunning lack of emotional intelligence. Leaping to his boss’s defense at a press conference, Kelly attacked Wilson’s character and fabricated a story about her supposed outrageous behavior at a public event, in spite of readily available news footage of that event that shows Kelly’s assertion to be an elaborate lie.
Furthermore, assessing Trump’s psychology requires little speculation as we have available to us a life-long history of personal, romantic, business, and political relationships. With the exception of some of his predatory and criminal behavior, he has led his entire life in public. We know what he says and how he says it. Through his own words Trump has even let us in on what provokes him to act – primarily vengeance, vainglory, lust, greed, and an obsession with domination. It has been on this public stage, not behind closed doors, where we have witnessed him reward anyone who flatters him and punish those who fail to do so. His daily Twitter tantrums have constituted a kind of ongoing characterological EEG reading, as if the vicissitudes of his personality disorder produced brain waves that could be converted into a text form readable by all.
To discuss and explore his obvious psychopathology – a malignant narcissism and psychopathy that threatens us all – is not to adopt the Soviet-style use of psychiatric diagnosis in the service of political repression. Rather, as I will argue, it is understanding that can be put to emancipatory purposes. This is because knowing his psychology is central to the project of resisting his policies, and to the task of understanding his appeal to a significant plurality of Americans. If the central thesis of this essay is correct, that Trump’s pathology is isomorphic with his brand, then what may look to some of us as signs and symptoms of profound impairment is precisely what makes him the object of near delirious veneration on the part of his base. As he well understands, to them he can do no wrong. Or, rather, every wrong he commits is righteous. This will be unpacked in the next section.
Allen Frances, a former editor of the DSM, argues against the tendency of some inside and outside the mental health field to apply diagnostic categories to an understanding of Trump. He insists that because Trump’s personality traits do not seem to bring him suffering and have made him quite successful, this militates against evaluating him in terms of psychopathology. However, in taking this position, Frances illustrates one of the many weaknesses of the DSM, a pseudo-empirical insurance coding guidebook of little clinical utility.
In this case, he ignores a central feature of personality disorders – their ego-syntonic nature. In other words, the behavior of such patients is untroublingly congruent with how they want to see themselves. This is especially the case with narcissism. Furthermore, it is not that “successful” narcissists, like Trump do not suffer distress. Rather, it is that their psychic pain is hidden behind the central preoccupations that mark their character: a ceaseless obsession with zero-sum status competition, a desperate Sisyphean pursuit of admiration that is never satisfied, and an unrelenting series of vendettas against those who have questioned his greatness. Like most narcissists, Trump would never seek treatment for his character – not because he doesn’t suffer, but because he locates that suffering in the failures of others to affirm his most grandiose self-image.
Fortunately for Trump, he is wealthy and privileged enough to get others to accommodate his pathology rather than challenge it. In fact, a December 2017 New York Times profile of Trump, drawn from 60 sources, advisors, aides, and political allies, fills in the details of a picture many can see from a distance: a petulant, brittle, and impulsive baby-man, a mad king who must be managed by a large team of courtiers and Trump 2sycophants whose main task is to protect him from his own actions. Functioning as a kind of fun house mirror in reverse, they render his deficits and dysfunctions as admirable virtues. For example, to counter the accusation that Trump is a perpetrator of fake news and a relentless fount of confabulation and conspiracy mongering, those who serve him affirm the notion that he is instead the long-suffering victim of and noble crusader against the “fake media” and lies of liberals. His loyal coterie of buffers and fluffers, seem to operate as a kind of auxiliary component of his personality disorder, ensuring that his impulses and actions remain ego-syntonic and his sense of self-importance remains sufficiently inflated.
From Personality Disorder to Brand to Political Order
One of the remarkable features of Trump’s personality is the way it has come to saturate, in fact, define his brand as a businessman and now as a politician. As Naomi Klein has pointed out in her new book, the essence of the Trump brand is not simply wealth and power but impunity, which is what that wealth and power have bought him. Such impunity becomes an even more useful currency when congealed in his brand, which becomes the semiotic carrier of the fantasy of being able to “do anything,” as he bragged in the infamous Access Hollywood tape. During the campaign Trump expressed a more murderous vision of his moral if not legal indemnity when he said he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and “not lose voters.”
For him, of course, it has not been just a fantasy. While impunity is deeply felt by Trump, it is also realized in the external world. Ms. Klein has detailed how his administration has been able to function as an unapologetic kleptocracy and a heretofore unconstrained one. As I see it, he has transformed a personality disorder into a brand and from there into a form of rule, an entire regime of psychopathy.
The fact that Trump and his family have enriched themselves by outsourcing the production of their products and real estate development projects to manufacturers and builders that use sweatshop and slave labor has not stopped him from being able to depict himself as an America Firster and a working-class hero. And frank treason has not impeded his efforts to portray himself as an uber-patriot.
His life of salacious debauchery, greed, and marital infidelity has not diminished the gushing enthusiasm with which he is greeted by the Christian Right. In the case of Trump, these good Christians do not merely defer to Caesar; they worship him. Some evangelical leaders compared him to Churchill, arguing that Trump “may be profane but ordained.” The mantle of God’s imperfect vessel was passed to former Alabama judge Roy Moore during his 2017 Senatorial race. He, like Trump, faced numerous sexual assault allegations. (In Moore’s case, some involved underage girls.) And like Trump, Moore denied everything and attacked his accusers. As with many Trump clones on the Right, the Moore scandal illustrates the extent to which impunity, at least among pious Republicans, is conferred upon those who disclaim any accountability for their actions. While Moore lost the Senatorial race against Doug Jones, it was by a narrow margin. And, he enjoyed the enthusiastic support from the President who made robocalls on Moore’s behalf. In addition, the Republican National Committee, the executive arm of the “family values” party, resolved their earlier ambivalence about backing an accused pedophile, and gave him a full-throated endorsement prior to the election.
In the case of Trump, his Teflon exoskeleton is even slipperier than the one attributed to Ronald Reagan. One could argue that the Trump “T” emblazoned across the top of his phallic buildings fundamentally stands for Teflon. He is the spokesmodel for impunity – impunity for sexual assault, for stiffing contractors, for wage theft, for providing investment safe havens to laundered Russian mob money, for proudly embracing murderous autocrats around the world, and for alternately denying and celebrating Putin’s corruption of our elections. In addition, at least among his supporters, Trump evinces impunity for praising the virtues of Nazis and white supremacists, for blaming Puerto Rican hurricane victims for their suffering and mocking their plight with Marie Antoinette-like “gifts” of paper towels tossed into desperate crowds, for exalting sadism and belligerence into noble virtues, and for compulsively and ceaselessly lying about both trivial and profound matters. In some ways, the latter, the normalization and acceptance of his lying, may be the most impactful and defining aspect of impunity in the present era.
“How Many Fingers, Winston?
In the reign of Trump, we have witnessed the emergence of a paradoxical species of disinformation, the open cover-up. It is a lie about something we can all see. It is an attack on our capacity to know what is true, to apprehend reality outside the assertions of the autocracy. It can be about trivial matters, such as inaugural crowd sizes. Or, it can involve more substantive concerns, such as the popular vote or Don Jr.’s well-published glee over getting the dirt on Hillary Clinton from Putin surrogates.
“Orwellian” is an appellation easily thrown around these days. But in the current moment, the descriptor seems especially apt. In the famous scene in 1984, O’Brien, the interrogator, confronts the prisoner, Winston, “Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.” What follows is the nightmare exchange burned into all of our memories in which O’Brien holds up four fingers and insists under the threat of escalating torture that Winston must not only say that he sees five fingers but believe he does. We are now in a world where our masters not only demand obedience but also hysterical blindness. Fortunately for Trump, he has had and continues to have an eager team of well-paid liars, such as Sean Spicer, Kelley Anne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the entire rogue’s gallery of Fox News fantasists to share the labor of rewriting reality.
Astonishingly, in an episode that could have been scripted by Orwell, Trump even tried to assert, once elected, that the aforementioned Access Hollywood tape, in which he gloated over his special ability to get away with sexual assault, was fake. This was in spite of his prior video-taped campaign admission and perfunctory apology.
There is an important prehistory to the current administration’s attack on the possibility of a consensual reality. For many decades, right-wing pundits and politicians have not only lied whenever it suited their purposes but elevated lying itself to a kind of political sacrament and an admirable sign of Machiavellian mastery. Many may recall author Ron Suskind’s interview with a senior presidential advisor employed by the GW Bush administration that derided journalists as anachronistic members of the “reality-based community.” He had insisted that the only necessary function of reporters was to be stenographers of those in power – the movers and shakers whose stories were the only ones worth telling. This was the soil from which a thousand “alternative facts” would later bloom. There is no greater impunity than the ability to repudiate reality, and to suffer no consequences for that repudiation.
The Meaning of the Trump Brand
Every brand makes a promise: that the qualities projected onto it, as with totem animals, can be bestowed upon those who purchase the associated products. In fact, the brand functions as a kind of meta-product. Just as a product used to be and still is marketed as a currency that can confer qualities and experiences you might never be able to get on your own – power, sexiness, glamour, admiration and envy of others, freedom from moral or legal sanction – the brand can perform this magical transfer without the need for an actual object. The label or logo now embodies the same spiritual essence as the material thing once did – a fetish that has been liberated from the fetish object itself. The impunity that animates Trump’s character and life can, in the wishful imagination, be licensed like his brand and inhabit his customers and fans. He is the permissive super-ego who says, “Since I can do it, so can you.” His brand thus offers a kind of preemptive pardon (anticipating the legal one he has openly considered for those loyal to him), not just for his cabinet members, his consiglieri and official explainers, but also for his base. The grace of normalization is not just conferred on those white supremacist groups filled with “good people,” but also ordinary Americans who no longer have to sublimate their ethnic hatred and misogyny.
Since the beginning of Trump’s campaign, incidents of racist verbal and physical assaults and vandalism have not only dramatically escalated but have involved the use of his name in the text of those attacks. As one businessman said to a Kennedy Airport worker in a hijab, “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you.” In Connecticut, fans of an all-white high school basketball team hurled racist taunts at the opposing team comprised largely of black and Latino players, and yelled “Trump! Trump! Trump!” This incident is one of many similar examples in which the President’s name has joined the swastika and the Confederate flag as brands signifying unapologetic exterminationist white supremacy.
At this point, some of my strenuously tolerant liberal readers might assert that not all Trump supporters are racist or contemptuous of various Others. And yet, they voted for someone who was, and cheered rapturously at his rallies. What does it mean to say you are not a bigot but are happy to support someone who is?
Forgive me for moving to the rhetorical third rail but occasionally Hitler analogies can be clarifying. How might we have regarded “good Germans” in the post-Weimar era who looked upon the brash Austrian rabble rouser and his party as simply the sort of nationalist disruptors the country needed? “Well,” they might say, “I don’t really think Jews are vermin, the principal vectors for all our economic and social maladies, but that Treaty of Versailles was a really bad deal. The Nazis promise to make Germany great again, create jobs, and build that beautiful autobahn. So, I want them in the Reichstag. And, you’ve got to love that idea of Lebensraum. Who doesn’t want to stretch out?”
Whether you are a bigot or can overlook bigotry in your leaders, the distinction doesn’t seem to constitute a meaningful difference, especially when it comes to policies those elected leaders get to enact. (For a fuller account of racism, in particular its role in eclipsing class as a driver of political identity, see my essay, “Tribe vs. Class in the Age of Post-Reality Politics,” which appeared in the anthology River of Fire: Commons, Crisis, and the Imagination.)
Absolute Power, Absolute Impunity
Impunity preempts any need to even imitate, let alone feel, empathy and other emotions common to the rest of the species. For Trump, regret and remorse are affective kryptonite to his singular superpower, untrammeled entitlement. He seems to live by his version of the medieval dictum of le droit du seigneur, the right of the lord. Originally, this referred to the master’s prerogative to rape any woman living on the land over which he ruled. For Trump, it is a more inclusive privilege and applies to anything and anybody he covets. So, unlike other politicians and CEOs, he cannot allow himself to even insincerely apologize, regardless of whatever short-term political or economic utility it might offer. The long-term damage to his brand would be too great.
Impunity is linked to another central feature of the Trumplandian universe – its authoritarianism and admiration of dictatorship. This may be why the Right is not just unperturbed by the Russian electoral espionage scandal, but even sees it as a good thing. To them, Putin is no villain but an icon of “manly” dominance whose central virtue is his ruthless proficiency at crushing those who impede his pursuit of empire. From this perspective, it makes sense why Trump and his base would want him to follow in Putin’s goose steps. And should the Mueller investigation present evidence of collusion with the Russians, Trump World will likely reframe it as one more affirmation that the President is a virtuoso at the “art of the deal.” If treason leads to a win, it is an unalloyed good. And, should there be a charge of obstruction of justice, there is no reason to worry because, according to Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, the president has impunity when it comes to that crime as well.
For his supporters in particular, the fantasy of domination without limits, consequences, or regret can be an effective if short-lived antidote to feelings of impotence. So, while those outside the Trumpian universe may be filled with bilious revulsion, his base cheers every act of destruction: every attack on an Obama era achievement, every display of arrogant swagger on the global stage, every assault on public health, every puerile insult directed at the enemy of the day, every thinly veiled racist incantation, and every ludicrous denial of science. All his actions say, “I’m here to fuck things up and burn it down. And I can get away with it.” And for those who feel powerless and enjoy little impunity in their own lives, his brand is burnished further.
Truth and Consequences
What can challenge this impunity? It will not be the invertebrate “mainstream” Republicans whose individual and collective Faustian bargains feel to them like offers they can’t refuse. Trump promises to give them what they want, a world safe for unregulated corporate predation, if they give him their loyalty. If they keep the praise coming and block any effort to impeach him for his crimes or to invoke the 25th amendment for his manifest incompetence to govern, he won’t invite Bannonite deplorables with pitchforks to primary them. The few exceptions to GOP moral cowardice have been those whose belated courage has been born of impending retirement.
Trump 3When it comes to enabling Trump and his team to evade any consequences for their potential crimes, there is now a plurality of Republican members of Congress that are going well beyond looking the other way or uttering low-risk overdue protests as they exit public life. There is now a well-organized and resolute effort underway among GOP politicians, the editorial board of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, and FOX News (what is now essentially Trump State TV) to subvert and delegitimate the Mueller investigation, discredit the Justice Department, and slander the FBI. Perhaps this anticipates their slogan for the 2018 mid-term elections – Impunity: It Takes a Village.
While some Democratic politicians may have finally developed a modicum of spinal integrity since the devastating losses of 2016, it has come too late to do anything beyond handwringing or cheering on the resistance from the sidelines. They are largely without sufficient political power to stop the nihilistic Trump juggernaut.
For a solution, among the many that can be employed, we must return to Naomi Klein’s book and its compelling call to arms. She makes the case that, in addition to local grass roots efforts at organized resistance, one of the most effective forms of opposition to the destructive ambitions of the current regime would be to undermine the Trump brand itself. This should be a two-pronged strategy: 1) reframing his brand and 2) boycotting its associated products.
First, there needs to be an unrelenting campaign of semiotic guerilla warfare against his brand in which it becomes infused with meanings that displace its current salutary symbolic freight. The Trump T must bring to mind treasonous loser instead of tough guy winner. Every effort must be made to recast his putative strengths as the weaknesses they are. As many have already done, we need to redefine his impulsivity. Instead of allowing his spokespeople and brand managers to present his thoughtless acting out as bold frankness, it must be portrayed as the infantile psychological incontinence that it is. Then there are the “luxury” attributions carried by his brand. We must bring to the surface the unconscious lexicography of the Trump name itself. In other words, few may know that the actual meaning of trumpery is something that is “showy but worthless” (according to the America Heritage Dictionary) – an accurate description of everything Trump. Poetic justice will be done.
As polls indicate, our numbers are growing. If the resistance can unite across its many differences, and if we are creative, focused, and steadfast in our efforts, even his Success deodorant (a real Trump product) will not be able to cover up the stink.
Once the patina of the brand is tarnished and the products licensed to bear the ignominious T come to signify all that is vile and cheesy, a global effort must be undertaken to subvert its monetary power – its ability to generate a profit for those who license it. Once a world-wide boycott turns a marker of pride and impunity into a symbol of shame and liability, the stigmatization of Trump’s brand could be one bankruptcy from which Russian mob money will not be able to rescue him.

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Controversial Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash accused in bribe plot may be headed to Chicago after judge refuses to discard indictment

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Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash is pictured prior to a public hearing at the higher regional court in Vienna on Feb. 21, 2017. A federal judge has declined to dismiss Firtash’s indictment, bringing him possibly one step closer to Chicago to face sweeping corruption charges. (GEORGES SCHNEIDER / AFP/Getty Images)
In a pivotal ruling made public Saturday, a federal judge has declined to dismiss the indictment of controversial Ukrainian billionaire Dmitry Firtash, bringing him possibly one step closer to facing sweeping corruption charges alleging an $18.5 million international bribery scheme.
Firtash, 53, has been in Austria for the past several years, embroiled in an extradition fight since his March 2014 arrest in Vienna on charges he and five co-defendants conspired to pay bribes to secure licenses to mine minerals in India.
Firtash was the alleged mastermind in an international racket that aimed to sell titanium to Chicago-based Boeing.

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Trump’s Pathology Is Also His Brand

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Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Psychoanalytic Activist.

By Stephen J. Ducat

The Problem of Diagnosis

Trump 1Debates rage in the increasingly politicized world of mental health clinicians about how to name and understand Trump’s evident psychopathology. Is he a narcissistic psychopath, a psychopathic narcissist, or simply a ruthless con man who managed to grift his way into business and then into the White House?

There are those cautious souls that still abide by the “Goldwater Rule” a proscription against clinicians diagnosing politicians and others in public life who haven’t been interviewed directly. This was an attempt by the American Psychiatric Association to prevent the kind of reductive and politically motivated pathologizing that was directed against Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign. As it turns out, the rule was an overreaching corrective for an overreaching use of diagnosis. We have a wealth of data on what those in public life do and say in the world, something we don’t have access to with our patients. Although patients behave in certain ways in the context of treatment, we can only speculate how that translates to other relational contexts.

Even though we cannot know Trump through a personal analytic transference, we have seen and heard him engaging in a multiplicity of transference-like enactments, and we have witnessed the many countertransference-like responses he has invoked in others (such as aggressive retaliation and submission, often in the same person). He has shown a particular talent for getting those under him to abandon any moral constraint when those morals interfere with serving his interests. In October of 2017, we witnessed the supposed “adult in the room,” presidential Chief of Staff General John Kelly devolve into a more persuasive and articulate but no less mendacious Trumpian mini-me. A Florida Congresswoman, Rep. Frederica Wilson, had overheard on speakerphone Trump’s callous and thoughtless attempt to console the newly widowed wife of a slain soldier, and dared to criticize the President for his stunning lack of emotional intelligence. Leaping to his boss’s defense at a press conference, Kelly attacked Wilson’s character and fabricated a story about her supposed outrageous behavior at a public event, in spite of readily available news footage of that event that shows Kelly’s assertion to be an elaborate lie.

Furthermore, assessing Trump’s psychology requires little speculation as we have available to us a life-long history of personal, romantic, business, and political relationships. With the exception of some of his predatory and criminal behavior, he has led his entire life in public. We know what he says and how he says it. Through his own words Trump has even let us in on what provokes him to act – primarily vengeance, vainglory, lust, greed, and an obsession with domination. It has been on this public stage, not behind closed doors, where we have witnessed him reward anyone who flatters him and punish those who fail to do so. His daily Twitter tantrums have constituted a kind of ongoing characterological EEG reading, as if the vicissitudes of his personality disorder produced brain waves that could be converted into a text form readable by all.

To discuss and explore his obvious psychopathology – a malignant narcissism and psychopathy that threatens us all – is not to adopt the Soviet-style use of psychiatric diagnosis in the service of political repression. Rather, as I will argue, it is understanding that can be put to emancipatory purposes. This is because knowing his psychology is central to the project of resisting his policies, and to the task of understanding his appeal to a significant plurality of Americans. If the central thesis of this essay is correct, that Trump’s pathology is isomorphic with his brand, then what may look to some of us as signs and symptoms of profound impairment is precisely what makes him the object of near delirious veneration on the part of his base. As he well understands, to them he can do no wrong. Or, rather, every wrong he commits is righteous. This will be unpacked in the next section.

Allen Frances, a former editor of the DSM, argues against the tendency of some inside and outside the mental health field to apply diagnostic categories to an understanding of Trump. He insists that because Trump’s personality traits do not seem to bring him suffering and have made him quite successful, this militates against evaluating him in terms of psychopathology. However, in taking this position, Frances illustrates one of the many weaknesses of the DSM, a pseudo-empirical insurance coding guidebook of little clinical utility.

In this case, he ignores a central feature of personality disorders – their ego-syntonic nature. In other words, the behavior of such patients is untroublingly congruent with how they want to see themselves. This is especially the case with narcissism. Furthermore, it is not that “successful” narcissists, like Trump do not suffer distress. Rather, it is that their psychic pain is hidden behind the central preoccupations that mark their character: a ceaseless obsession with zero-sum status competition, a desperate Sisyphean pursuit of admiration that is never satisfied, and an unrelenting series of vendettas against those who have questioned his greatness. Like most narcissists, Trump would never seek treatment for his character – not because he doesn’t suffer, but because he locates that suffering in the failures of others to affirm his most grandiose self-image.

Fortunately for Trump, he is wealthy and privileged enough to get others to accommodate his pathology rather than challenge it. In fact, a December 2017 New York Times profile of Trump, drawn from 60 sources, advisors, aides, and political allies, fills in the details of a picture many can see from a distance: a petulant, brittle, and impulsive baby-man, a mad king who must be managed by a large team of courtiers and Trump 2sycophants whose main task is to protect him from his own actions. Functioning as a kind of fun house mirror in reverse, they render his deficits and dysfunctions as admirable virtues. For example, to counter the accusation that Trump is a perpetrator of fake news and a relentless fount of confabulation and conspiracy mongering, those who serve him affirm the notion that he is instead the long-suffering victim of and noble crusader against the “fake media” and lies of liberals. His loyal coterie of buffers and fluffers, seem to operate as a kind of auxiliary component of his personality disorder, ensuring that his impulses and actions remain ego-syntonic and his sense of self-importance remains sufficiently inflated.

From Personality Disorder to Brand to Political Order

One of the remarkable features of Trump’s personality is the way it has come to saturate, in fact, define his brand as a businessman and now as a politician. As Naomi Klein has pointed out in her new book, the essence of the Trump brand is not simply wealth and power but impunity, which is what that wealth and power have bought him. Such impunity becomes an even more useful currency when congealed in his brand, which becomes the semiotic carrier of the fantasy of being able to “do anything,” as he bragged in the infamous Access Hollywood tape. During the campaign Trump expressed a more murderous vision of his moral if not legal indemnity when he said he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and “not lose voters.”

For him, of course, it has not been just a fantasy. While impunity is deeply felt by Trump, it is also realized in the external world. Ms. Klein has detailed how his administration has been able to function as an unapologetic kleptocracy and a heretofore unconstrained one. As I see it, he has transformed a personality disorder into a brand and from there into a form of rule, an entire regime of psychopathy.

The fact that Trump and his family have enriched themselves by outsourcing the production of their products and real estate development projects to manufacturers and builders that use sweatshop and slave labor has not stopped him from being able to depict himself as an America Firster and a working-class hero. And frank treason has not impeded his efforts to portray himself as an uber-patriot.

His life of salacious debauchery, greed, and marital infidelity has not diminished the gushing enthusiasm with which he is greeted by the Christian Right. In the case of Trump, these good Christians do not merely defer to Caesar; they worship him. Some evangelical leaders compared him to Churchill, arguing that Trump “may be profane but ordained.” The mantle of God’s imperfect vessel was passed to former Alabama judge Roy Moore during his 2017 Senatorial race. He, like Trump, faced numerous sexual assault allegations. (In Moore’s case, some involved underage girls.) And like Trump, Moore denied everything and attacked his accusers. As with many Trump clones on the Right, the Moore scandal illustrates the extent to which impunity, at least among pious Republicans, is conferred upon those who disclaim any accountability for their actions. While Moore lost the Senatorial race against Doug Jones, it was by a narrow margin. And, he enjoyed the enthusiastic support from the President who made robocalls on Moore’s behalf. In addition, the Republican National Committee, the executive arm of the “family values” party, resolved their earlier ambivalence about backing an accused pedophile, and gave him a full-throated endorsement prior to the election.

In the case of Trump, his Teflon exoskeleton is even slipperier than the one attributed to Ronald Reagan. One could argue that the Trump “T” emblazoned across the top of his phallic buildings fundamentally stands for Teflon. He is the spokesmodel for impunity – impunity for sexual assault, for stiffing contractors, for wage theft, for providing investment safe havens to laundered Russian mob money, for proudly embracing murderous autocrats around the world, and for alternately denying and celebrating Putin’s corruption of our elections. In addition, at least among his supporters, Trump evinces impunity for praising the virtues of Nazis and white supremacists, for blaming Puerto Rican hurricane victims for their suffering and mocking their plight with Marie Antoinette-like “gifts” of paper towels tossed into desperate crowds, for exalting sadism and belligerence into noble virtues, and for compulsively and ceaselessly lying about both trivial and profound matters. In some ways, the latter, the normalization and acceptance of his lying, may be the most impactful and defining aspect of impunity in the present era.

“How Many Fingers, Winston?

In the reign of Trump, we have witnessed the emergence of a paradoxical species of disinformation, the open cover-up. It is a lie about something we can all see. It is an attack on our capacity to know what is true, to apprehend reality outside the assertions of the autocracy. It can be about trivial matters, such as inaugural crowd sizes. Or, it can involve more substantive concerns, such as the popular vote or Don Jr.’s well-published glee over getting the dirt on Hillary Clinton from Putin surrogates.

“Orwellian” is an appellation easily thrown around these days. But in the current moment, the descriptor seems especially apt. In the famous scene in 1984, O’Brien, the interrogator, confronts the prisoner, Winston, “Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.” What follows is the nightmare exchange burned into all of our memories in which O’Brien holds up four fingers and insists under the threat of escalating torture that Winston must not only say that he sees five fingers but believe he does. We are now in a world where our masters not only demand obedience but also hysterical blindness. Fortunately for Trump, he has had and continues to have an eager team of well-paid liars, such as Sean Spicer, Kelley Anne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the entire rogue’s gallery of Fox News fantasists to share the labor of rewriting reality.

Astonishingly, in an episode that could have been scripted by Orwell, Trump even tried to assert, once elected, that the aforementioned Access Hollywood tape, in which he gloated over his special ability to get away with sexual assault, was fake. This was in spite of his prior video-taped campaign admission and perfunctory apology.

There is an important prehistory to the current administration’s attack on the possibility of a consensual reality. For many decades, right-wing pundits and politicians have not only lied whenever it suited their purposes but elevated lying itself to a kind of political sacrament and an admirable sign of Machiavellian mastery. Many may recall author Ron Suskind’s interview with a senior presidential advisor employed by the GW Bush administration that derided journalists as anachronistic members of the “reality-based community.” He had insisted that the only necessary function of reporters was to be stenographers of those in power – the movers and shakers whose stories were the only ones worth telling. This was the soil from which a thousand “alternative facts” would later bloom. There is no greater impunity than the ability to repudiate reality, and to suffer no consequences for that repudiation.

The Meaning of the Trump Brand

Every brand makes a promise: that the qualities projected onto it, as with totem animals, can be bestowed upon those who purchase the associated products. In fact, the brand functions as a kind of meta-product. Just as a product used to be and still is marketed as a currency that can confer qualities and experiences you might never be able to get on your own – power, sexiness, glamour, admiration and envy of others, freedom from moral or legal sanction – the brand can perform this magical transfer without the need for an actual object. The label or logo now embodies the same spiritual essence as the material thing once did – a fetish that has been liberated from the fetish object itself. The impunity that animates Trump’s character and life can, in the wishful imagination, be licensed like his brand and inhabit his customers and fans. He is the permissive super-ego who says, “Since I can do it, so can you.” His brand thus offers a kind of preemptive pardon (anticipating the legal one he has openly considered for those loyal to him), not just for his cabinet members, his consiglieri and official explainers, but also for his base. The grace of normalization is not just conferred on those white supremacist groups filled with “good people,” but also ordinary Americans who no longer have to sublimate their ethnic hatred and misogyny.

Since the beginning of Trump’s campaign, incidents of racist verbal and physical assaults and vandalism have not only dramatically escalated but have involved the use of his name in the text of those attacks. As one businessman said to a Kennedy Airport worker in a hijab, “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you.” In Connecticut, fans of an all-white high school basketball team hurled racist taunts at the opposing team comprised largely of black and Latino players, and yelled “Trump! Trump! Trump!” This incident is one of many similar examples in which the President’s name has joined the swastika and the Confederate flag as brands signifying unapologetic exterminationist white supremacy.

At this point, some of my strenuously tolerant liberal readers might assert that not all Trump supporters are racist or contemptuous of various Others. And yet, they voted for someone who was, and cheered rapturously at his rallies. What does it mean to say you are not a bigot but are happy to support someone who is?

Forgive me for moving to the rhetorical third rail but occasionally Hitler analogies can be clarifying. How might we have regarded “good Germans” in the post-Weimar era who looked upon the brash Austrian rabble rouser and his party as simply the sort of nationalist disruptors the country needed? “Well,” they might say, “I don’t really think Jews are vermin, the principal vectors for all our economic and social maladies, but that Treaty of Versailles was a really bad deal. The Nazis promise to make Germany great again, create jobs, and build that beautiful autobahn. So, I want them in the Reichstag. And, you’ve got to love that idea of Lebensraum. Who doesn’t want to stretch out?”

Whether you are a bigot or can overlook bigotry in your leaders, the distinction doesn’t seem to constitute a meaningful difference, especially when it comes to policies those elected leaders get to enact. (For a fuller account of racism, in particular its role in eclipsing class as a driver of political identity, see my essay, “Tribe vs. Class in the Age of Post-Reality Politics,” which appeared in the anthology River of Fire: Commons, Crisis, and the Imagination.)

Absolute Power, Absolute Impunity

Impunity preempts any need to even imitate, let alone feel, empathy and other emotions common to the rest of the species. For Trump, regret and remorse are affective kryptonite to his singular superpower, untrammeled entitlement. He seems to live by his version of the medieval dictum of le droit du seigneur, the right of the lord. Originally, this referred to the master’s prerogative to rape any woman living on the land over which he ruled. For Trump, it is a more inclusive privilege and applies to anything and anybody he covets. So, unlike other politicians and CEOs, he cannot allow himself to even insincerely apologize, regardless of whatever short-term political or economic utility it might offer. The long-term damage to his brand would be too great.

Impunity is linked to another central feature of the Trumplandian universe – its authoritarianism and admiration of dictatorship. This may be why the Right is not just unperturbed by the Russian electoral espionage scandal, but even sees it as a good thing. To them, Putin is no villain but an icon of “manly” dominance whose central virtue is his ruthless proficiency at crushing those who impede his pursuit of empire. From this perspective, it makes sense why Trump and his base would want him to follow in Putin’s goose steps. And should the Mueller investigation present evidence of collusion with the Russians, Trump World will likely reframe it as one more affirmation that the President is a virtuoso at the “art of the deal.” If treason leads to a win, it is an unalloyed good. And, should there be a charge of obstruction of justice, there is no reason to worry because, according to Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, the president has impunity when it comes to that crime as well.

For his supporters in particular, the fantasy of domination without limits, consequences, or regret can be an effective if short-lived antidote to feelings of impotence. So, while those outside the Trumpian universe may be filled with bilious revulsion, his base cheers every act of destruction: every attack on an Obama era achievement, every display of arrogant swagger on the global stage, every assault on public health, every puerile insult directed at the enemy of the day, every thinly veiled racist incantation, and every ludicrous denial of science. All his actions say, “I’m here to fuck things up and burn it down. And I can get away with it.” And for those who feel powerless and enjoy little impunity in their own lives, his brand is burnished further.

Truth and Consequences

What can challenge this impunity? It will not be the invertebrate “mainstream” Republicans whose individual and collective Faustian bargains feel to them like offers they can’t refuse. Trump promises to give them what they want, a world safe for unregulated corporate predation, if they give him their loyalty. If they keep the praise coming and block any effort to impeach him for his crimes or to invoke the 25th amendment for his manifest incompetence to govern, he won’t invite Bannonite deplorables with pitchforks to primary them. The few exceptions to GOP moral cowardice have been those whose belated courage has been born of impending retirement.

Trump 3When it comes to enabling Trump and his team to evade any consequences for their potential crimes, there is now a plurality of Republican members of Congress that are going well beyond looking the other way or uttering low-risk overdue protests as they exit public life. There is now a well-organized and resolute effort underway among GOP politicians, the editorial board of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, and FOX News (what is now essentially Trump State TV) to subvert and delegitimate the Mueller investigation, discredit the Justice Department, and slander the FBI. Perhaps this anticipates their slogan for the 2018 mid-term elections – Impunity: It Takes a Village.

While some Democratic politicians may have finally developed a modicum of spinal integrity since the devastating losses of 2016, it has come too late to do anything beyond handwringing or cheering on the resistance from the sidelines. They are largely without sufficient political power to stop the nihilistic Trump juggernaut.

For a solution, among the many that can be employed, we must return to Naomi Klein’s book and its compelling call to arms. She makes the case that, in addition to local grass roots efforts at organized resistance, one of the most effective forms of opposition to the destructive ambitions of the current regime would be to undermine the Trump brand itself. This should be a two-pronged strategy: 1) reframing his brand and 2) boycotting its associated products.

First, there needs to be an unrelenting campaign of semiotic guerilla warfare against his brand in which it becomes infused with meanings that displace its current salutary symbolic freight. The Trump T must bring to mind treasonous loser instead of tough guy winner. Every effort must be made to recast his putative strengths as the weaknesses they are. As many have already done, we need to redefine his impulsivity. Instead of allowing his spokespeople and brand managers to present his thoughtless acting out as bold frankness, it must be portrayed as the infantile psychological incontinence that it is. Then there are the “luxury” attributions carried by his brand. We must bring to the surface the unconscious lexicography of the Trump name itself. In other words, few may know that the actual meaning of trumpery is something that is “showy but worthless” (according to the America Heritage Dictionary) – an accurate description of everything Trump. Poetic justice will be done.

As polls indicate, our numbers are growing. If the resistance can unite across its many differences, and if we are creative, focused, and steadfast in our efforts, even his Success deodorant (a real Trump product) will not be able to cover up the stink.

Once the patina of the brand is tarnished and the products licensed to bear the ignominious T come to signify all that is vile and cheesy, a global effort must be undertaken to subvert its monetary power – its ability to generate a profit for those who license it. Once a world-wide boycott turns a marker of pride and impunity into a symbol of shame and liability, the stigmatization of Trump’s brand could be one bankruptcy from which Russian mob money will not be able to rescue him.

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mikenov on Twitter: Controversial Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash accused in bribe plot may be headed to Chicago after judge refuses to discard indictment chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/…

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Controversial Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash accused in bribe plot may be headed to Chicago after judge refuses to discard indictment chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/…


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mikenov on Twitter: Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: The #TrumpInvestigationsBlog by #MichaelNovakhov – #Review Of #News And #Opinions: #Socialism: an #American #Story – #Update in #pictures,…… (1. Trump from…) michael_novakhov.newsblur.com/story/michael-… pic.twitter.com/X0JMjHmp7h

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mikenov on Twitter: 12:44 PM 6/23/2019 – SOCIALISM – Google Search: M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.  trumpandtrumpism.com/2019/06/23/124…

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12:44 PM 6/23/2019 – SOCIALISM – Google Search: M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.  trumpandtrumpism.com/2019/06/23/124…


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Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures

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Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

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Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

Update – June 23, 2019

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTHSOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy, as the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes, is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept. 
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity. 
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism. 
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources. 
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented. 
 The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism. 
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully. 
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
__________________________________________________________

Donald Trump and his political movement | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Donald Trump – by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova): Web Research, Analysis, Hypotheses, and Opinions | Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Sites: http://trumpinvestigations.org/ | https://trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/ | https://trumpandtrumpism.com/

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

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mikenov on Twitter: The #TrumpInvestigationsBlog by #MichaelNovakhov – #Review Of #News And #Opinions: #Socialism: an American Story – #Update in pictures trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/06/social…

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Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures

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Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

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Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

Update – June 23, 2019

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTHSOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy, as the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes, is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept. 
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity. 
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism. 
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources. 
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented. 
 The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism. 
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully. 
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
__________________________________________________________

Donald Trump and his political movement | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Donald Trump – by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova): Web Research, Analysis, Hypotheses, and Opinions | Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Sites: http://trumpinvestigations.org/ | https://trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/ | https://trumpandtrumpism.com/

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

Read the whole story

 

· · · · · ·

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Trump dismisses UN request for FBI to investigate Jamal Khashoggi’s murder | World news

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Donald Trump has dismissed a United Nations request for the FBI to investigate the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, suggesting it would jeopardise American weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.
report on Khashoggi’s assassination published last week by the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings said the US should open an FBI inquiry and “pursue criminal prosecutions within the United States, as appropriate”.
But Trump brushed the proposal aside in an interview broadcast by NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
Asked if he would allow the FBI to investigate, Trump said: “I think it’s been heavily investigated.”
Asked who had investigated, the president replied: “By everybody. I mean … I’ve seen so many different reports.”
Khashoggi, 59, was killed when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October last year. The UN special rapporteur blamed the Saudi government for the murder and said there was credible evidence that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior officials were responsible.
Trump told NBC the murder “really didn’t come up” in a call with the prince on Friday.
Trump also suggested Saudi Arabia was no worse than other states in the Middle East, which he called a “vicious, hostile place”, adding: “Look at Iran, look at other countries, I won’t mention names.”
The president then cited a drastically overinflated figure for Saudi spending on US weapons that fact-checkers have previously noted does not match the official record.
“I only say they spend $400bn to $450bn over a period of time, all money, all jobs, buying equipment,” Trump said.
In fact Saudi Arabia last year signed “letters of offer and acceptance” for $14.5bn in military purchases from the US.
The Senate last week voted to block the Trump administration selling arms to Saudi Arabia, with seven Republicans joining Democrats to pass the measure. Trump has pledged to use his presidential veto and push on with the sales.
While denying he was saying such purchases were “the price” for Khashoggi’s murder, Trump on Sunday defended his consideration of arms sales in responding to the assassination. Khashoggi was a US resident who wrote for the Washington Post.
“I’m not like a fool that says, ‘We don’t want to do business with them,’” Trump said. “And by the way, if they don’t do business with us, you know what they do? They’ll do business with the Russians or with the Chinese …
“We make the best equipment in the world, but they will buy great equipment from Russia and from China.”
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Trump won’t say if he’ll ask FBI to probe Khashoggi killing

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FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain. An independent U.N. human rights expert investigating the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is recommending an investigation into the possible role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, citing “credible evidence.” (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump isn’t saying whether he’ll direct the FBI to investigate the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL’ khahr-SHOHK’-jee).
Trump does not answer directly when asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether he’ll allow the FBI to examine the slaying of the Saudi Arabian journalist. In the interview taped last week and broadcast Sunday, Trump says Khashoggi’s killing has been “heavily investigated.”
Khashoggi was killed, and believed to have been dismembered, inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey by Saudi agents on Oct. 2. His remains have never been found.
Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey have investigated. Last week, an independent U.N. report found “credible evidence” to warrant further investigation into the possible role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi’s writings criticized the Saudi royal family.

trump letter to kim – Google Search

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Story image for trump letter to kim from CNN

Kim Jong Un says he received ‘personal letter‘ from Trump

CNN15 hours ago
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he received a “personal letter” from President Donald Trump, according to North Korean state news …
Story image for trump letter to kim from CNN

Trump threatened Time journalist with prison over Kim Jong Un letter

CNNJun 21, 2019
New York (CNN Business) President Trump’s interview with a team of reporters from Time magazine took a sudden turn when he made a …

North Korean Media Says Kim Receives ‘Excellent’ Letter From Trump

NBC New York5 hours ago
President Donald Trump sent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un an “excellent” letter, the North’s state-run news agency reported Sunday, …
Story image for trump letter to kim from CNN

Kim Jong Un’s ‘beautiful’ letter to Trump contained no details on way …

CNNJun 12, 2019
Washington (CNN) A “beautiful” letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un touted by President Donald Trump on Tuesday lacked substance …
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trump letter to kim – Google Search

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trump letter to kim – Google Search

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The Manifesto Of The American Socialism: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

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Update – June 23, 2019

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM. 

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy, as the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes, is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept. 
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity. 
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism. 
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources. 
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented. 
 The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism. 
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully. 
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
__________________________________________________________

Donald Trump and his political movement | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Donald Trump – by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova): Web Research, Analysis, Hypotheses, and Opinions | Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Sites: http://trumpinvestigations.org/ | https://trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/ | https://trumpandtrumpism.com/

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy: the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes. is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept.
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity.
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces and processes are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism.
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources.
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented.
The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism.
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully.
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

After watching Bernie Sanders try, for at least the second time, to defend himself as a “democratic socialist” by defining “democratic socialism” as something that is not actually socialism, I’m struggling to understand the purpose of it all. What does he gain from this? What is he trying to do?
Here’s how Sanders talked about his ideology in a recent speech at George Washington University:
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
“That,” he continued, “is what I mean by democratic socialism.”
Compare this with the vision of his political hero Eugene Debs, whom Sanders profiled in the 1979 documentary Eugene Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary.
“Socialism,” Debs wrote in 1904, “is first of all a political movement of the working class, clearly defined and uncompromising, which aims at the overthrow of the prevailing capitalist system by securing control of the national government and by the exercise of the public powers, supplanting the existing capitalist class government with socialist administration.”
It is, Debs said, “the collective ownership and control of industry and its democratic management in the interest of all the people.”
More modern programs for American socialism started from the same place. In his 1978 essay “What Socialists Would Do in America—If They Could,” Michael Harrington, who would co-found the Democratic Socialists of America a few years later, assumed a “national planning process in which all the people would have an effective right to participate.” This would include democratically owned and managed property as well as a private sector where “many of the existing functions of corporate power” had been socialized.
Sanders has proposed a capital fund controlled by workers at major corporations, but that arrangement lies quite a distance from the direct ownership envisioned by Debs or Harrington. That, Sanders rejects.
“The next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this,” he said in a 2015 speech at Georgetown, “I don’t believe the government should own the means of production.”
Instead of a Marxist, Sanders likes to frame himself as a New Dealer, an heir to the party of Franklin Roosevelt.
Roosevelt, Sanders said last week, “led a transformation of the American government and the American economy” and was “reviled by the oligarchs of his time,” who attacked his New Deal programs as “socialism.”
It’s clear that Sanders wants to drain those attacks of their power by leaning into them, by saying yes, the New Deal was socialist and that was a good thing. And he is right about the reactionary opposition to Roosevelt. They warned of creeping Bolshevism and imminent revolution under programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Works Progress Administration. But being attacked as a socialist doesn’t make one a socialist, and neither Roosevelt nor the New Deal was socialist.
Roosevelt came to office a fiscal conservative. He wanted to balance the budget. He also understood, however, that mass unemployment threatened the “profit system.” In the face of labor unrest and direct action by industrial workers, he was willing to change course, to meet the activists and movements to his left with policies that satisfied some of their demands. But Roosevelt’s goal was always preservation: to reform capitalism and harmonize labor and capital, not to forge a replacement.
What, then, should we make of Sanders’ decision to embrace a nearly revolutionary label, “democratic socialism,” but define it in terms of American left-liberal politics?
One answer is that as someone who did live and work in left-wing and Marxist circles for much of his adult life, he wants to bring the term into the mainstream of American politics. To not just embrace the “socialist” attacks as a badge of honor but to make “democratic socialism” an extension of the New Deal is to make it sound normal, even desirable.
More Americans may embrace the label. And because the term still implies a larger set of ideological commitments outside Democratic Party liberalism, some of Sanders’ followers will become bona fide socialists who want that Debsian transformation of economic relations in the United States.
It has already happened with the substantial growth of the Democratic Socialists of America since 2016 and an increasing (albeit still small) number of Americans with a positive view of “socialism,” including a bare majority of the youngest adults.
The term does other political work. It distinguishes him from his rivals in the Democratic primary and suggests he wants to go further than his stated views—that he’s also interested in fundamental transformation, even if his program isn’t more meaningfully progressive than that of his closest ideological rival, Elizabeth Warren.
There’s another way to understand Sanders’ rhetoric around “democratic socialism.” For Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect, Sanders embodies the not-always-clear divide between liberals and the left.
“In running as a democratic socialist who seeks to complete and update FDR’s agenda,” he writes, “Sanders straddles the very fuzzy border between social democracy and American left liberalism.” In both traditions, democracy is an economic project as well as a political one. Perhaps Sanders is just trying to make that explicit—to once and for all marginalize the centrist Democratic Party politics of the past three decades, in which the economic rights of workers were subordinate to the demands of capital—as well as show Americans how effective governance can include left-wing politics. It is the political project of his entire career, from Burlington to the Capitol Building.
At the beginning of his speech at George Washington, Sanders took note of the “growing movement toward oligarchy” in the United States and the world at large. He listed the leaders of several governments—Putin in Russia, Xi in China, Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Viktor Orban in Hungary—that “meld corporatist economics with xenophobia and authoritarianism.” I think this analysis, which I’ve written about in the past, can also help us make sense of Sanders’ idiosyncratic use of “democratic socialism.”
In a 1977 essay for Dissent magazine, “Socialism and Liberalism: Articles of Conciliation?,” socialist writer Irving Howe addressed the “tacit collaboration of right and left extremes in undermining the social and moral foundations of liberalism,” which he described as “a great intellectual scandal of the age.” Those critics failed, he wrote, “to consider what the consequences might be of their intemperate attacks upon liberalism.” To assault the foundations of liberal democracy, he added, “meant to bring into play social forces the intellectuals of both right and left could not foresee.”
In straddling the two sides of the left-wing divide—in tying “democratic socialism” to the legacy of the most important figure in American liberalism—Sanders might be modeling a kind of pragmatism. Not the colloquial pragmatism of do what works, but something from the American philosophical tradition where the truth of the matter is in the doing, not the definitions.
He calls himself a “democratic socialist,” others call themselves “liberals,” but in the United States they’re part of a common project, fighting on a united front.
____________________________________
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Bernie Sanders’ definition of socialism
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Bernie Sanders’ definition of socialism

Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

After watching Bernie Sanders try, for at least the second time, to defend himself as a “democratic socialist” by defining “democratic socialism” as something that is not actually socialism, I’m struggling to understand the purpose of it all. What does he gain from this? What is he trying to do?
Here’s how Sanders talked about his ideology in a recent speech at George Washington University:

The Manifesto Of The American Socialism

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The Manifesto Of The American Socialism – Transcript: Here’s Bernie Sanders’ full commencement speech at Brooklyn College, as transcribed, adapted, and interpreted by Michael Novakhov – 1:51 PM 3/27/2019

https://trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-manifesto-of-american-socialism.html

The Manifesto Of The American Socialism


1:51 PM 3/27/2019

America is not and will not be the criminal oligarchic Mafia State! We see clearly, how the countries like Russia descended into this sad and very dangerous predicament. The Russian Mafia State Godfathers, with Putin at the “Bratva”‘s helm, got so desperate when squeezed by sanctions, that they decided to install their made puppet as the US President as the best solution for their post-Pseudo-Socialist problems and vexations of their pseudo-capitalist spirits. 


Not so fast, Vlad! Go wire your baby Donald $100 Mils in your illegal campaign contributions under the guise of loans. What can be a greater achievement for the Russian Mafia Boss-Godfather than to brag that he “put his boy in the White House”! 


Go kiss Vlad’s ass, Donald. It looks that he is the holder of your debt notes. Oh, he already did that? Well, he will do it again, dont’ you worry about it! Bernie Sanders does not kiss anybody’s ass, never did, never will; not like some bankrupt capitalist pigs. They are bankrupt financially, politically, and spiritually! 


We have to eradicate the Global Organised Crime in all its reincarnations and under all the covers that we can find. The Mob is the ugly, evil, vicious, shrewd, treacherous, primitive, predatory, ever hungry Beast which went for the Jugular of Humanity. 


“His nature squalid is, malicious, greedy;
He never sated gets,  
Just hungrier”… 


At the same time we have to understand and treat correctly our own problems, pains, and ills. The degree of inequality in today’s America is staggering, and it is proportional only with our perpetual tendencies for the serial denials and self-congratulations. We want to live happily, before-and-thereafter but it does not work out this way. Our lives and existences are more of the dramatic struggles of the 95% Have Nots, and  the many and the various problems of those under illusions that they “have”.


The America’s economic, political, emotional, and cultural lives will not be controlled by a handful of very wealthy families! 

Our lives are too rich for that, and our country is too rich, too complex, and too multi-faceted for any despotic controls, be it the Government, the FBI, the Media, the Big Business, or the Big Money. 


There is the great inequality in America today: one person out of thousands owns as much wealth as the rest. The difference between the CEO and the average worker pay is 350 folds. This beloved Society of ours is divided into the virtual slaves and the virtual slave owners. 43 million Americans live in poverty, this is the shame for the “Land of Plenty”. Many people feel that they have nothing to live for, the rates of suicide, addictions, crimes, and imprisonment are very high for this rich and enlightened Society of ours which we like to think of as the “Land of the Free”. 


The political system in America is just as corrupt as its economic system, and this corruption threatens our Democracy where many people now feel that their President is not really their President but might be the agent of the foreign power. Our Democratic system became the hostage to the Big and Manipulative Money in Politics. No one, neither the local, domestic Money Bags nor the foreign ones should be under any illusions that they would be able to buy or to blackmail the American politicians, as many people feel it is happening now. We do need to reform our laws and regulations of the money in politics and the role they play. This is no less of the shame! Our political wills cannot be bought or sold or we seize to be the free humans capable of making and expressing our free and intelligent choices. 


We need good and well functioning Health Care System and we proposed Medicare for all. This is the way to go. Health is not a commodity that is bought and sold. It is God’s gift that is guarded and maintained by men. It is one of the inalienable rights. There are no reasons why the US cannot have the well functioning health care system like many advanced countries do. 


Tax the rich and feed and provide for the poor, and this is only fair. The modern Society has to be paternalistic to a certain degree, not the deadly capitalist Jungle. 


We also have to restore the America’s standing in the World, and this thesis is not at contradiction with the Socialist ideas: what is good for America is good for the World and vice versa. 


We do not need the bankrupt Muggers screaming “MAGA!” America was great before you, and America will be great after you, or more precisely, without you. 


Make America free again, make America fair and equal again, make America healthy again, make America the dream again, and the Great it is and will be always. Amen. 


And this is the 100% correct plan for all 100% of the American people. 


Bernie Sanders for President!  


America, vote for the yours and the World’s future! 


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